Global Geochemical Baseline Mapping in India for Environmental Management Using Topsoil
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As a part of International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)/International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC) Task Group on Global Geochemical Baselines, CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (CSIR-NGRI), Hyderabad, India has carried out geochemical baseline mapping of India to provide high quality data for a wide range of environmental applications. A project based on IUGS global baselines project was initiated by NGRI to cover the whole of India which is having 122 Global Terrestrial Network (GTN)/Global Reference Network (GRNs) of 160 x 160 km. Soil samples were studied in 115 out of the 122 GRN cells in India. 544 topsoil samples were collected for these studies. The soil samples were collected as per the guidelines given in the IUGS/IAGC field manual. The samples were analyzed for 10 major and 12 trace elements (SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MnO, MgO, CaO, Na2O, K2O, TiO2, P2O5, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sr, V, Y, Zn and Zr) by X-ray fluorescence spectrometer at NGRI. The analytical data were computed to prepare geochemical maps showing the distribution of major oxides and trace elements all over India. These maps will help to know the distribution of the toxic and hazardous metals and their relation to human health. These maps also help to see the hot spots for the entire country and in suggesting remedial measures.
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The authors are thankful to Drs. SS Gowd, GLN Reddy, NN Murthy, K. Rama Mohan, and Mr. B.V. Ramana for the collection of soil samples from some parts of the country. Thanks, are also due to Dr. V.M. Tiwari, Director, CSIR-NGRI for his kind permission (NGRI/Lib/2019/Pub-111) to publish the results. The preparation of the geochemical baseline maps presented in this paper is partly carried out under the CSIR Emeritus Scientist scheme granted to Dr Pradip K. Govil for this purpose. The authors are thankful to Professor Jane Plant (BGS, UK), Dr David Smith (USGS, USA) and Dr. H.K. Gupta (NGRI, India) for initiating these studies in India and for their support.
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